Having gone through my share of gay movies, gay TV series and gay poems, I was wondering if we have gay songs too. I searched on Google and YouTube. The results were varied.
I found songs that had been filmed to gay couples, but the lyrics were neutral-gendered. For example, Close to You and All-American Boy – they have interesting gay videos. But the lyrics are not gay. If you change the vocals (singer) to female, it sounds just like a straight song.
Similarly, the songs Lightning in a Bottle and Define Me – both have beautiful and inspiring videos with queer characters. But if you remove the video, the audio becomes just an inspirational song. Nothing queer in the lyrics.
I checked our very own 6 Pack Band (a group of 6 Indian hijras singing beautiful songs in a variety of genres) – their songs are fun and energetic and superb to hum to – but the lyrics do not talk directly about transgender experiences.
I wanted to listen to a song with clearly gay (or lesbian/bi/trans) lyrics. With music that I can hum while working at office or while I am on my way home.
I wondered if Maa da Ladla from Dostana is the only explicitly gay song I know of. That would be a shame because its lyrics are sheer homophobia set in rhyme.
I kept searching and the results improved. I came across Outlaws of Love which comes pretty close to my criteria. Its lyrics obviously talk about gay or lesbian love. But it does not use the G-word or L-word.
Same Love talks about it directly and clearly. I liked it. But the music is not something I’ll remember for long.
Then I found Gay Pirates which talks about two pirates in love with each other, on a ship, being harassed by their captain. The lyrics are sharp and the music of the chorus is energetic and I love humming to it while driving my bike.
Soon I found some naughty songs – Bubble is a crazy horny song about guys playing with their “sticks” to “pop” bubble butts. You know – boys are boys, no matter gay or straight.
I generally need subtitles while listening to songs, so I use this other link.
Then there is Faggotty Attention– old but gold! I know some people take offense to the word “faggot” because of its history of verbal a buse against gay people. But I reclaim it as a scar and wear it with pride (just like we have reclaimed the word “queer”). About the song, well it’s another fun-filled song, where a gay guy is wooing an apparently “straight” guy. By the end, we see that even spaghetti is straight only until you heat it up 😉
He Likes Boys tells you a story from the point of view of a girl who likes a boy, who … also likes boys ! Towards the end of the song, the chorus changes to “We like boys !” So you can dedicate it to your beloved fag-hag. And if you are a straight girl, go ahead and dedicate this song to your gay best friend 🙂
Wait, I even stumbled across a lesbian song – How to know if a Girl is Lesbian. It is a casual song that lists all stereotypes about lesbians (don’t take it seriously). It has a sweet silly feel, a simple hummable tune and the artist (Ally Hills) acts so goofy in the video.
Another one by the same artist is In Love with a Straight Friend where she tells lesbians not to fall for straight girls. God knows we gay guys need this advice all the time !!
In case you were wondering why it is so difficult to find queer songs, listen to Radio-Friendly Pop Song. The lyrics talk about how gay composers have to change their lyrics and hide their sexuality from their fans to thrive in the music industry. You can feel the agony of the artist (Matt Fishel) as he breaks the rules at the end.
Another song by the same artist is When Boy Meets Boy. This sweet number has very clearly gay lyrics. The video is in animation form, in which one of them turns into superhero and saves the other, which makes me go all heart-eyes. By the way, this artist’s debut album is titled – Not Thinking Straight (iTunes Link). Just imagine the songs it may have!
If you like slow songs, try Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond Of Each Other. It has country music and the lyrics talk about the stereotypes associated with cowboys, gay men and gender identity. After all, every conservative culture (both west and east) has its share of hidden homo-eroticism. I wonder if India also has some queer songs in regional languages … quite possible! Just that we didn’t come to know about them.
Look Cute, Feel Cute tells you that it is okay for a guy to look cute instead of rough-n-tough. Often young gay men who look pretty or effeminate are taunted and harassed by bullies and jerks. The song stands up against such nonsense and celebrates our fabulous cuteness. Basically most songs by this artist (Jonny McGovern aka Gay Pimp) are not only gay, but also bold, proud and sex-positive. And they have super peppy music ! Enjoy the collection here .
And finally I struck gold when I discovered the gay band – Pansy Division. Their music style is a mix of pop punk and power pop. Their lyrics focus mainly on gay issues, sex and relationships, often in a light casual way. They have parody songs – Smells like Queer Spirit is an ireverant parody of the original Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.
They have bold songs – Fem in a black leather jacket talks frankly about feminine vs butch (straight-acting) guys.
They have angry songs – That’s so Gay expresses how infuriating it is when someone uses the word ‘gay’ as a shame-word.
They have reality-check songs – Boyfriend Wanted laments about the life of a single gay man waiting for a boyfriend. Mannn !
They even have a song called No Protection that warns against condom-less-sex. I’m amazed! Check out their naughtiest gay songs here .
However, all these songs are about being gay and in English. I wish I could find songs about being lesbian/bi/transgender. Or any queer-themed songs in Hindi or any Indian regional language. If you know of any, please add the names/links in the comments. Or may be list them out as a new post.
Or wait, how about forming a queer band of our own and producing queer songs in our local languages? Just imagine!